An exiled African princess has been named the new face of Guerlain

An exiled African princess has been named the new face of Guerlain

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Site: Anna McClelland

France's first African supermodel and a one-time contender for president of Burundi, Esther Kamatari is one of the fashion industry's most fascinating personalities

The statuesque model, royal, author and political activist can now add Guerlain ambassador to her impressive resume. Wondering why you've never heard of her? Kamatari has blipped on and off the fashion radar throughout her career.

Exiled from the landlocked East African country Burundi with the rest of the royal family following a military coup in the mid '60s, Kamatari fled to Paris, where she became a fixture on the catwalks from the '70s to '90s. In her heyday, the striking beauty walked for YSL, Christian Dior and Paco Rabanne and appeared in Issey Miyake's iconic Twelve Black Girls show in Tokyo alongside Grace Jones.

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Said to have paved the way for Naomi Campbell, Kamatari took a backseat from the fashion industry to run for president of Burundi in 2004, joining her brother's party. The country's volatile political situation made her plan impossible, so she has remained in France with her husband, a French doctor, and three children.

Full of grace and fierce intelligence, Kamatari is the perfect spokeswoman for Parisian cosmetics empire Guerlain and joins former faces Natalia Vodianova and Michelle Yeoh. Her first campaign is yet to be revealed - check back for the images here. 

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